STEM students showcase projects


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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Austintown Middle School hosted a STEM Fair on May 3 for guests to look and learn about the different projects the STEM students have been working on all year.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Some of the STEM students demonstrated to the guests how the super stock cars are built and steered for the Soap Box Derby.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Austintown Middle School students in the STEM program presented the projects on display at the fourth annual STEM Fair on May 3.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Pictured are, from left, Sydney Spencer, Isabella Butchko and Julia Marscio as they showed off some of the trophies they received from the Soap Box Derby. The three students are drivers and part of the STEM program at Austintown Middle School.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Pictured are, from left, Isaac Robbins and Caleb Grope controlled two of the robots at the STEM Fair at Austintown Middle School on May 3. The fair showcased the different projects the students in STEM worked on creating.

By ALEXIS BARTOLOMUCCI

abartolomucci@vindy.com

Austintown Middle School hosted its fourth annual STEM Showcase on May 3.

There are 50 students in the STEM program at AMS, 25 seventh-graders and 25 eighth-graders. Students who wish to be in the STEM program in seventh- and eighth-grade must apply because the program only allows 25 students from each grade. The students integrate STEM work into all of their core curriculums. They work on science, technology, engineering and math hands-on projects throughout the day.

“This is what’s called a self-contained STEM program, meaning they’re doing STEM work all day. It’s not like an extra special class or after-school project, it’s a program in itself” said Danielle Chine, the STEM Coach.

Students teach and learn about different modules like design and modeling, computer design and programs, automation products and flight and space. The eighth-graders launch bottle rockets and go over the elements and basics of flight.

The seventh- and eighth-grade students in STEM help teach a junior STEM program for the sixth-grade students at AMS. The sixth-grade students have STEM meetings once a month to prepare them if they wish to apply for the program in seventh- and eighth-grade.

The stage was filled with trophies, stock cars and super stock cars, information and displays all about the Soap Box Derby the STEM students competed it. Students in STEM travel to Soap Box Derby competitions to race in with the cars they built themselves while in STEM.

“Your top speed is 35 miles per hour and it’s just really fun. It’s a lot different than you would expect it to be,” said Julia Marscio, one of the super stock car drivers. “You have to be flexible and willing to drive.”

Super stock cars are bigger and provide more room and opportunities for taller people to drive, while stock cars are smaller and require smaller drivers. Three drivers, Marscio, Isabella Butchko and Sydney Spencer, explained how the driver has to be flexible and be able to get low to become more aerodynamic.

“I was one of the shortest so I was like ‘Okay, sure. Why not? It sounds fun.’” said Butchko, a stock car driver.

The showcase was designed to display the projects the students worked on as a team to create throughout the year. Each project had representatives standing by to explain what they were. The STEM program at AMS gets the students ready as they transition into the high school STEM program.

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